PPG - EnviroBase Waterbase Paint Clinic, August 14, 2009.

PPG - EnviroBase water base paint clinic, August 14, 2009.

As most of you know, California and several other states are mandating much stricter regulation of VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds) in paint. For those of you that have forgotten, a "Volatile Organic Compound" can mean any organic compound (most chemical compounds containing carbon) that is volatile (evaporating or vaporizing readily under normal conditions). For the paint industry, that means the solvents that are used to dissolve and hold pigment and paint compounds in suspension until they are sprayed onto a surface. As paint dries, these chemical compounds (thinners and solvents), evaporate into the air and cause environmentalists to write nasty letters to congressmen and senators lest they accidently get a whiff and develop a brain tumor. All kidding aside though, many of these chemicals are toxic to one degree or another and we should try to keep them out of the air we breathe.

The problem for paint manufacturers has been to make a paint that you can apply to a car surface that is durable and will last. Latex paint, which is used by most of us to paint our houses, is water-based. Unfortunately, it doesn't work so well for painting cars. Until now.

"EnviroBase" is PPG's latest eco-friendly, low VOC paint designed to meet the new standards adopted by some counties in California and elsewhere. It is a water-based automotive paint. In order to get the word out and teach painters how to use it, PPG is conducting clinics and seminars. This EnviroBase clinic was sponsored by Meza Automotive Paint of Escondido, and hosted at the Hot Rods & Custom Stuff paint facility.

PPG Clinic Instructor Paul Stoll PPG Rep Ray Garcia.

Those attending the clinic learned about the differences between EnviroBase and the paints they are accustomed to using, new mixing and application techniques, required equipment and its maintenance, safety, and clean-up requirements. Paul Stoll, a veteran automotive painter, covered all aspects of the new paint, answered questions from those attending and then demonstrated how to use it in our paint booth.

Ray Stoll sprays a base coat of EnviroBase paint.

According to Mr. Stoll there are several advantages to the new paint that will make up for any inconvenience caused by switching to and learning a new product. For one thing, it is easier to mix (no mixing machine required), easy to apply, easy to blend, has a fast process time, a long 4-year shelf life (if un-opened), and you don't have all the nasty fumes to contend with (you still have to wear your respirator though).

Ray Stoll explains EnviroBase paint application.

There are a few catches though. To achieve the desired results and high productivity waterborne paint is capable of, you will probably need to upgrade or retrofit your paint booth. Clean dry air is very important so a good filtration system is required. It may also be necessary to have additional air movement to increase the feet per minute (FPM) of air traveling accross the paint, which can be achieved by a special hand-held air gun (as was used in this demonstration), or additional air blowers mounted in the corners of the booth. These requirements should not pose a problem for most though.

PPG Clinic Instructor Ray Stoll.

There has been a lot of worry about these new regulations and how they would affect the auto body and paint business. PPG's new EnviroBase paint will make compliance a lot less painfull than many have imagined it would be, which will be a relief to many. What costs there will be to switch to the new system should be offset by the production benefits of the new paint formulation.

Fender painted with PPG EnviroBase water base paint.

For more information on how to attend a PPG clinic or seminar please visit Meza's website.

Meza Automotive Paint

Meza Automotive Paint


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